Ultradent’s Enamelast Fluoride Varnish
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called it “one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th century.” Today, it’s hard to imagine oral health without it being one of the first things to come to mind. Of course we’re talking about fluoride. Its role as the single most important factor in preventing caries has truly revolutionized the quality of life for countless people all over the world, making tooth decay—one of the most widespread diseases in the world—avoidable and even preventable. After moving to Colorado Springs in 1901, Dr. Frederick McKay, dentist, began noticing an inexplicable presence of dark brown, blotchy, stains on a high amount of the townspeople’s teeth, which, as word spread, soon became known as “The Colorado Brown Stain.” Curiously, McKay’s team noticed that patients presenting with mottled enamel also displayed a curiously strong resistance to caries—leading to the discovery of the staining’s culprit, high levels of fluoride. After lowering the fluoride levels enough to render dental benefits to the patient without causing fluorosis, the U.S. government began to include safe levels of fluoride in cities throughout America—affecting the reduction of caries and tooth decay by 60%. Since then, fluoride continues to lead the war on tooth decay, as commander-in-chief. Fluoride works to fight and prevent tooth decay caused by the conversion of dietary sugars to acid. As plaque becomes acidic, calcium and phosphate ions in the enamel begin to dissolve or demineralize. Fluoride stops the demineralizing process and works to remineralize the enamel by neutralizing acidity in the plaque. Fluoride ions in the saliva and plaque greatly reduce the conversion of sugar to acid—the cause of decay.
Today, fluoride can be found in countless topical dental products, as well as two thirds of America’s water supply. Topical fluorides on the market include toothpastes and mouthwashes. In a professional care setting, fluorides have evolved from foam and gel treatments to present-day varnishes. Varnishes have earned the favor of dentists, thanks to their ability to quickly set after being painted onto the surface of the tooth. Naturally, fluoride varnish’s adhesive capabilities have the potential provide the maximum amount of fluoride uptake to the tooth, as opposed to mouthwashes and gels that instead of adhering to the tooth, are easily washed away with liquid, saliva, and food. However, the fact that varnishes adhere to the tooth for a long period of time can also be their downfall, due to their notoriously gritty, uncomfortable texture. In addition to the fuzzy feeling that varnishes leave of the teeth, they also tend to leave an unsightly and embarrassing residue, causing patients to prematurely wipe or brush the varnish off, thus reducing its effectiveness. As an answer to overwhelming demand, Ultradent created Enamelast, a smooth, clean, and natural-feeling fluoride varnish. When applied, Enamelast appears nearly invisible against the teeth. It features a patented adhesion-promoting agent that enhances the varnish’s retention, making it easier for patients to receive the benefits of maximum fluoride uptake. Enamelast also facilitates longer, sustained release when applied to teeth previously treated with an ortho sealant.